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more_DT
than_CS
forty_CD
years_NNS
ago_RB
,_,
the_DT
"_"
sword_NN
and_CC
sandals_NNS
"_"
genre_NN
of_IN
historical_JJ
epic_NN
ruled_VBN
the_DT
box_NN
office_NN
._.
during_IN
the_DT
1950_CD
's_BEZ
hollywood_NP
sought_JJ
to_IN
give_VB
audiences_NNS
a_DT
reason_NN
to_IN
turn_NN
off_IN
their_PP$
televisions_NNS
and_CC
go_VB
out_RP
to_IN
the_DT
movies_NNS
by_IN
offering_VBG
the_DT
grand_JJ
spectacle_NN
of_IN
the_DT
roman_JJ
empire_NN
in_IN
cinemascope_NP
._.
"_"
ben-hur_NP
._.
"_"
"_"
cleopatra_NP
._.
"_"
"_"
the_DT
robe_NN
._.
"_"
"_"
sparticus_NP
._.
"_"
"_"
the_DT
fall_NN
of_IN
the_DT
roman_JJ
empire_NN
._.
"_"
"_"
quo_???
vadis_NN
._.
"_"
sometimes_RB
brilliant_JJ
,_,
sometimes_RB
campy_???
,_,
the_DT
roman_JJ
epic_NN
was_BEDZ
the_DT
technicolor_NN
funeral_NN
pyre_???
of_IN
classic_NN
hollywood_NP
._.
since_CS
then_RB
,_,
epics_NNS
have_HV
appeared_VBN
infrequently_RB
(_(
"_"
the_DT
last_OD
emperor_NN
,_,
"_"
"_"
braveheart_NP
"_"
)_)
and_CC
some_DT
of_IN
the_DT
best_JJS
have_HV
been_BEN
small-screen_IN
affairs_NNS
produced_VBN
in_IN
the_DT
1970_CD
's_BEZ
(_(
"_"
roots_NNS
,_,
"_"
"_"
shogun_NN
"_"
)_)
._.
yet_RB
,_,
the_DT
phrase_NN
"_"
we_PP
who_WP
are_BER
about_IN
to_TO
die_VB
salute_NN
you_PP
"_"
has_HVZ
been_BEN
absent_JJ
until_CS
now_RB
._.
"_"
gladiator_NN
"_"
begins_VBZ
in_IN
germania_NP
in_IN
a_DT
._.
d_NN
._.
180_CD
._.
roman_JJ
general_JJ
maximus_NN
(_(
russell_NP
crowe_NP
)_)
has_HVZ
conquered_VBN
yet_RB
another_DT
group_NN
of_IN
barbarians_NNS
for_IN
his_PP$
emperor_NN
marcus_NP
aurelius_NP
(_(
richard_NP
harris_NP
)_)
,_,
and_CC
he_PP
is_BEZ
eager_JJ
to_TO
retire_VB
to_IN
his_PP$
plantation_NN
in_IN
spain_NP
where_CS
his_PP$
wife_NN
and_CC
son_NN
are_BER
waiting_VBG
._.
however_RB
,_,
the_DT
emperor_NN
is_BEZ
worried_JJ
that_CS
his_PP$
decadent_NN
weakling_VBG
son_NN
commodus_NN
(_(
joaquin_NN
phoenix_NP
)_)
will_MD
prove_VB
a_DT
poor_JJ
successor_NN
,_,
so_RB
he_PP
wants_VBZ
to_IN
make_NN
maximus_NN
his_PP$
heir_NN
as_IN
a_DT
transition_NN
toward_IN
rome_NP
becoming_VBG
a_DT
republic_NN
again_RB
._.
when_CS
commodus_NN
hears_VBZ
the_DT
plan_NN
,_,
he_PP
strangles_NNS
his_PP$
father_NN
and_CC
orders_NNS
maximus_NN
and_CC
his_PP$
family_NN
murdered_VBD
._.
maximus_NN
escapes_VBZ
from_IN
the_DT
executioners_NNS
,_,
but_CC
he_PP
arrives_VBZ
home_RB
too_RB
late_JJ
to_IN
save_NN
his_PP$
wife_NN
and_CC
son_NN
._.
a_DT
caravan_NN
of_IN
slavers_NNS
pick_VB
up_RP
the_DT
wounded_JJ
hero_NN
and_CC
carry_VB
him_PP
off_RP
to_IN
north_NN
africa_NP
._.
(_)
why_WRB
the_DT
caravan_NN
happened_VBD
to_TO
be_BE
cruising_VBG
by_IN
maximus_NN
'_"
place_NN
is_BEZ
never_RB
explained_VBN
._.
)_)
an_DT
african_JJ
named_JJ
juba_NP
(_(
djimon_JJ
hounsou_???
)_(
treats_NNS
maximus_FW
'_"
wounds_NNS
._.
proximo_RB
(_(
oliver_NP
reed_NP
)_)
,_,
a_DT
gladiator_NN
who_WP
won_VBD
his_PP$
freedom_NN
,_,
purchases_NNS
maximus_NN
and_CC
juba_NP
as_IN
fodder_NN
for_IN
the_DT
arena_NN
._.
of_IN
course_NN
,_,
maximus_NN
proves_VBZ
as_IN
able_JJ
a_DT
gladiator_NN
as_IN
he_PP
was_BEDZ
a_DT
soldier_NN
,_,
and_CC
his_PP$
fame_NN
spreads_VBZ
._.
when_CS
commodus_NN
reopens_VBZ
the_DT
coliseum_NN
,_,
proximo_RB
brings_VBZ
his_PP$
troupe_NP
of_IN
warriors_NNS
to_IN
rome_NP
to_IN
compete_VB
._.
our_PP$
hero_NN
wins_NNS
the_DT
hearts_NNS
and_CC
minds_NNS
of_IN
the_DT
cheering_VBG
crowds_NNS
and_CC
finds_VBZ
that_CS
he_PP
has_HVZ
an_DT
ally_NN
in_IN
commodus_NN
'_"
sister_NN
lucilla_NN
(_(
connie_NP
nielsen_NP
)_)
._.
the_DT
similarities_NNS
to_IN
"_"
braveheart_NP
"_"
are_BER
obvious_JJ
:_:
an_DT
evil_NN
king_NN
,_,
a_DT
determined_JJ
warrior_NN
seeking_VBG
revenge_NN
for_IN
his_PP$
murdered_JJ
family_NN
,_,
the_DT
aid_NN
of_IN
a_DT
lovestruck_JJ
princess_NN
._.
also_RB
,_,
like_IN
mel_NP
gibson_NP
's_POS
epic_NN
,_,
"_"
gladiator_NN
"_"
has_HVZ
a_DT
primarily_RB
visceral_JJ
appeal_NN
and_CC
is_BEZ
driven_VBN
forward_RB
by_IN
the_DT
hero_NN
's_POS
anger_NN
._.
it_PP
's_BEZ
a_DT
simple_JJ
tale_NN
of_IN
good_JJ
versus_IN
evil_JJ
._.
maximus_NN
has_HVZ
all_PDT
the_DT
manly_JJ
virtues_NNS
:_:
nobility_NN
of_IN
purpose_NN
,_,
courage_NN
in_IN
battle_NN
,_,
loyalty_NN
to_IN
king_NN
and_CC
country_NN
,_,
physical_JJ
stamina_NN
,_,
and_CC
devotion_NN
to_IN
family_NN
._.
commodus_NN
is_BEZ
his_PP$
opposite_JJ
in_IN
every_DT
way_NN
:_:
a_DT
sniveling_NN
,_,
selfish_JJ
coward_NN
who_WP
is_BEZ
intended_VBN
to_IN
disgust_NN
the_DT
audience_NN
._.
the_DT
opening_NN
night_NN
crowd_NN
in_IN
my_PP$
theater_NN
was_BEDZ
about_IN
70_CD
%_NN
male_JJ
,_,
and_CC
that_CS
seems_VBZ
appropriate_JJ
._.
"_"
gladiator_NN
"_"
is_BEZ
a_DT
guy_NN
movie_NN
(_(
would_MD
the_DT
opposite_JJ
of_IN
a_DT
"_"
chick_NN
flick_NN
"_"
be_BE
a_DT
"_"
dick_NP
flick_NN
"_"
?_?
)_)
._.
there_EX
's_BEZ
much_DT
pumping_NN
of_IN
testosterone_NN
and_CC
chopping_VBG
off_RP
of_IN
body_NN
parts_NNS
in_IN
gruesome_JJ
battle_NN
sequences_NNS
._.
(_(
those_DT
easily_RB
offended_VBN
by_IN
gore_NP
should_MD
stay_VB
away_RB
._.
)_)
lucilla_NN
is_BEZ
the_DT
only_RB
female_JJ
character_NN
,_,
and_CC
what_WDT
sparks_NNS
there_EX
are_BER
between_RB
her_PP$
and_CC
maximus_NP
are_BER
dampened_JJ
by_IN
his_PP$
devotion_NN
to_IN
his_PP$
dead_JJ
wife_NN
._.
joaquin_NP
phoenix_NP
gives_VBZ
an_DT
astounding_NN
performance_NN
._.
in_IN
the_DT
scene_NN
where_CS
commodus_NN
kills_VBZ
his_PP$
father_NN
,_,
phoenix_NP
shows_VBZ
the_DT
pain_NN
of_IN
a_DT
son_NN
who_WP
has_HVZ
never_RB
had_HVN
his_PP$
father_NN
's_POS
love_NN
or_CC
pride_NN
._.
throughout_IN
the_DT
picture_NN
,_,
phoenix_NP
manages_VBZ
to_IN
give_VB
depth_NN
to_IN
a_DT
character_NN
who_WP
's_BEZ
scripted_VBN
as_IN
a_DT
caricature_NN
of_IN
evil_JJ
._.
i've_???
been_BEN
a_DT
russell_NP
crowe_NP
fan_NN
since_CS
"_"
romper_NN
stomper_NN
._.
"_"
this_DT
role_NN
doesn't_DOZ
offer_VB
him_PP
the_DT
complexities_NNS
of_IN
his_PP$
parts_NNS
in_IN
"_"
l_NN
._.
a_DT
._.
confidential_JJ
"_"
and_CC
"_"
the_DT
insider_NN
"_"
--_???
essentially_RB
his_PP$
job_NN
is_BEZ
to_TO
grunt_NN
heroically_RB
--_???
but_CC
his_PP$
voice_NN
,_,
which_WDT
has_HVZ
a_DT
richard_NP
burton_NP
resonance_NN
textured_JJ
by_IN
a_DT
clint_NN
eastwood_NN
rasp_???
,_,
is_BEZ
perfect_JJ
for_IN
the_DT
genre_NN
._.
the_DT
late_JJ
oliver_NP
reed_NP
gave_VBD
us_PP
the_DT
best_JJS
work_NN
of_IN
his_PP$
career_NN
in_IN
his_PP$
last_OD
role_NN
._.
i_PP
hope_VB
it_PP
will_MD
be_BE
rewarded_VBN
with_IN
an_DT
oscar_NP
._.
my_PP$
only_JJ
major_JJ
quibble_JJ
with_IN
"_"
gladiator_NN
"_"
is_BEZ
its_PP$
stylized_JJ
look_NN
._.
several_DT
scenes_NNS
are_BER
tinted_VBN
._.
we've_???
seen_VBN
a_DT
lot_NN
of_IN
the_DT
tinted_VBN
look_NN
lately_RB
,_,
particularly_RB
in_IN
"_"
payback_NN
"_"
and_CC
"_"
the_DT
matrix_NN
._.
"_"
i_PP
don't_DO
get_VB
the_DT
appeal_NN
of_IN
the_DT
style_NN
,_,
which_WDT
makes_VBZ
feature_NN
films_NNS
look_VB
like_IN
tv_NN
ads_???
._.
in_CD
"_"
payback_NN
"_"
it_PP
was_BEDZ
merely_RB
annoying_VBG
,_,
but_CC
in_IN
"_"
gladiator_NN
"_"
it_PP
bleaches_NNS
the_DT
color_NN
out_RP
of_IN
the_DT
grand_JJ
spectacles_NNS
that_CS
are_BER
the_DT
raison_NN
d'etre_NN
of_IN
the_DT
roman_JJ
epic_NN
._.
(_)
perhaps_RB
it_PP
's_BEZ
meant_VBN
to_IN
gloss_NN
over_IN
the_DT
imperfections_NNS
of_IN
the_DT
computer-generated_JJ
shots_NNS
._.
)_)
also_RB
,_,
the_DT
battle_NN
scenes_NNS
are_BER
filmed_VBN
in_IN
a_DT
strange_JJ
herky_JJ
jerky_JJ
style_NN
that_CS
seems_VBZ
to_IN
be_BE
slo_???
mo_???
and_CC
fast_JJ
forward_RB
simultaneously_RB
._.
(_)
it_PP
reminds_VBZ
me_PP
of_IN
the_DT
way_NN
the_DT
flash_NN
runs_VBZ
in_IN
the_DT
comic_NN
books_NNS
,_,
leaving_VBG
a_DT
half-blurred_JJ
trail_NN
of_IN
images_NNS
of_IN
himself_PPX
behind_IN
._.
)_)
with_IN
a_DT
more_DT
realistic_JJ
look_NN
,_,
"_"
gladiator_NN
"_"
could_MD
be_BE
even_RB
more_RBR
satisfying_JJ
than_CS
"_"
braveheart_NP
"_"
because_CS
it_PP
has_HVZ
a_DT
tighter_JJR
script_NN
and_CC
a_DT
more_RBR
fulfilling_VBG
conclusion_NN
._.
bottom_NN
line_NN
:_:
a_DT
rousing_VBG
action_NN
film_NN
enriched_VBD
by_IN
fine_JJ
performances_NNS
but_CC
tarnished_JJ
by_IN
stylistic_JJ
choices_NNS
._.
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